Categories > Anime/Manga > Pokemon > Loyalty

Chapter 03: Secrets

by Mikari 0 reviews

Chapter 03: Secrets

Category: Pokemon - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Ash,Misty - Published: 2012-04-25 - Updated: 2012-04-25 - 2484 words - Complete


Chapter 03: Secrets

It had been completely unexpected, out of the blue and yet deep down she felt she had it coming. For many years, Delia pretended to be a normal person, she was seen as cheerful and sweet, which she truly was, but the wife of a mafia lord could hardly be called normal by society and its standards. The residents of Pallet Town had taken a liking to her little cafe and were sad to see it close when she felt the need to retire despite her eyes still holding the sparkle of youth just as strongly as ten years ago.

Ash's journey was over and so was her place in the outside world, her role of assisting him in his rise to power. After Ash's victory at the Indigo League she stayed in Pallet only for a few months until Giovanni urged her to return, emphasizing that there was no reason for her to come and go between her two roles and could put that secondary role that had become so primary to rest. She could return to his side completely. It was over.

Delia expected to see anger when the person who kidnapped her from the peaceful little villa lifted off her blindfold. She expected to see the enraged face of a criminal out for vengeance. A part of her also expected the hurt eyes of one of Team Rocket's unjust victims, but she kept telling herself that she could do nothing about it, while the more sincere and less mercifully hypocritical part of her brain told her that she simply didn't want to do anything. Her family was everything and they would just have to be enough.

Instead of all her expectations, which were not too cheerful to begin with, but were at least logical, Delia found a familiar face. Her eyes widened as she stared into the confused expression of a young woman she had met long ago. Delia had only seen Misty a few times during the past decade, on less than half as many occasions as Ash had seen her, not that the two had spent too much time together.

Ash and Misty were always happy to see each other, and always conscious of their respective secrets while remaining unaware of the other's. From Misty's perspective, though still his optimistic self, Ash had become more focused, just a little more serious and that gave him an air of distance. He was training, he was busy, he had no time to travel slowly from one location to another, instead rushing from one public challenge to the next in a select few formal events, then disappearing into a secret training routine that the next generation of young trainers could only theorize about dreamily, or at least that's what it looked like.

Misty felt that he wasn't out for adventuring anymore as much as he was out for improvement. Ash was well known, he had a reputation to maintain and Misty had a well camouflaged criminal record with her name on it that would surely be brought to light if she was seen with Ash. A gym leader charged with the crime of being a vigilante taking justice into her own hands and overstepping the authorities along with several other offenses, some being true and others false, was one thing.

Yet to have the same gym leader associated with the new champion who shocked the world by defeating Lance only to be apparently, too humble to take the title of champion formally was too much. His record had to remain without blemish, or else the kids wouldn't want to collect all those little Pokemon League cards, figurines and what not, which Ash was pushed to advertise, even the classic poke-Os cereals would suffer if its spokesperson was seen with a criminal, righteous or not. He was a little avoidant; she noticed it, accepted it and added to it, not truly bothered by it as she thought it was his natural response to her own avoidance which in reality flew over his head.

"Misty?" The name weighed heavily in Delia's voice as if the very sound waves that carried it would shatter. A million questions ran through her mind, but she could hardly voice them incoherent and incomplete. "Why are you? Where? Is this?"

"Who are you?" Misty cut in; her expression absolutely sour and almost fearful of the truth. "Please tell me the truth, who are you, please!" She was near the point of tears. The danger of being a vigilante didn't faze her like this, even the thought of crossing the line and performing an abduction, though it bothered her at first, was reconciled with her conscience when she excused it convincing herself that it was for the greater good. Yet this memory of times gone by, the precious memory of the traveling boy and his kind mother, Misty didn't want it to be tainted.

"I am who you think," Delia admitted, thinking that she had no right to deny it; she simply couldn't bring herself to do so. "The Azure Alliance... It started out as a group that protected water pokemon and you were openly involved in it. After a conflict with a small gang in this area, the alliance apparently dissolved. Later, a group of vigilantes emerged by the same name, but the Waterflower sisters denied any involvement with them. The leader was supposedly caught and arrested, but he wasn't the real leader, either that or a new leader was elected and the group became more hidden. I really thought that you had broken free of it, or that it was true that you never participated in the lawless version of the group."

"Even so, you're rather informed," Misty frowned, still busy with the task of taking in the shock she received with the revelation. "Then you really are his wife, you married Giovanni." Misty shook her head, trying to force the fact to sink in. It makes sense I suppose. Ash seemed stressed when I saw him a few days after his victory. I thought the press was getting to him, I only saw him for a short time, a very short time every few months, that's as often as I've seen him for the last ten years. Could the source of his stress been his new family situation?"

Delia remained silent and allowed Misty to continue with her theories. The redhead shook her head in disapproval. Of course, Ash is the champion, a position of power, if Giovanni got close to the mother, he could get close to the son. That's why Ash refused the title and instead asked Lance to continue serving as Kanto and Johto's champion, isn't it? He didn't want to be used even if you've been tricked, even if..." Misty was silenced by the fierce look Delia was giving her. Her heart felt like it stopped cold.

"Giovanni and I were married before you existed in the world," Delia snapped sharply. She immediately regretted it, being someone to feel the pain of guilt quite vividly upon gazing into someone's hurt expression. Besides, she was saying too much, what the Azure Alliance didn't know, they didn't need to find out.

Misty slowly processed what she heard; she had received too many shocks for a single day. "His father..." she let out a breath. It made sense, it was only logical, they were married from beyond the beginning of her lifetime, and therefore Ash's lifetime and they were still together, thus making it the only logical conclusion. Ash was Giovanni's son. Following Ash's victory, Misty wondered why he didn't take the title of champion, she didn't understand given how strongly Ash wanted to be the best. Then it suddenly made sense. "No... Is he being forced to quit? Is Ash leaving his career for Team Rocket?"

Delia sighed in exasperation, "you insist on making them the bad guys. Team Rocket is no more pure evil than a band of average fugitives is pure good." Her tone was even, the sugary sweetness that characterized her flowing back into her voice as she had the chance to calm down a little.

Misty opened her mouth to speak and promptly closed it again, it was clear that the fugitives Delia was referring to were the Azure Alliance, though lawless, Misty preferred to think of the organization as vigilantes. She took a deep breath, counted to ten and decided that throwing out accusations wouldn't do anyone any good. "I suppose I don't know the whole picture," she admitted, "but I know as much as the general public knows and a little more."

"That is not enough to judge each individual," Delia argued without any edge in her voice. "I don't mean to be a hypocrite," she voiced sincerely, "I know I'm not a model citizen with what I've seen and permitted, thinking I could do nothing. I know I'm selfish to seek the happiness of my family at all costs, even at the cost of other people. I'm not going to tell you I'm right, but I can at least assure you that I know where my loyalties lie. I can also say that I really, honestly, never want to see you as an enemy of Team Rocket. If you must chase a righteous purpose as I once thought of doing years ago, then I can't stop you, but know it's not an easy path and temptations are all around."

"Loyalty," Misty repeated the word that had such an odd ring to it. When one thought of loyalty, a virtuous characteristic in itself, one thought of someone good, someone just, not the mafia, not kidnappers. Yet everyone, criminal or innocent, had their own loyalties and priorities. "I have loyalties too," Misty admitted, finding strength in that mutual understanding.

"About Ash..." Delia brought up the subject worriedly. "It could harm him if this was made public, not that it's a complete secret, but the general public doesn't need to know. Please don't try to interfere with that." Delia's tone of voice made it clear that this was not a threat, but a protective warning. "Please, Misty, don't."

"I have no intentions of negatively affecting Ash... or taking any actions at all, not until I sort things out." Hasty actions could lead to terrible mistakes. The thought of such a situation reminded her that it was time to move if she was going to avoid the progression of the Azure Alliance's plans for a while longer until she could clear her head. She knew that though hidden, her sisters were listening. She wasn't going to hand over Delia as a bargaining chip to the unknown person that their anonymous informant promised to send along.

There was a quiet moment followed by the shattering of silence as the unmistakable sound of sirens filled the air. The other Waterflowers, paying no mind to their lack of masks any longer, rushed to join their younger sister on the top level as the police shouted from outside. "You're surrounded, come out with your hands on your head!"

The threat from the megaphone was ignored in favor of some running in circles from the three oldest Waterflowers and a hasty untying of their prisoner in Misty's part. The situation felt crazy, but then again, so is the life of a vigilante. "It won't do either of us any good if the police has you. Please don't try to flee from us," just as Delia had warned before, foretelling of dire consequences should the warning be ignored, Misty did so this time.

"I understand," Delia stretched, rubbing her wrists.

"The basement is like a dead end," Lilly pointed out what all her sisters already knew, to emphasize the intensity of their predicament.

"We'll have to fight our way through; it looks like we were betrayed." Misty concluded too late, her expression was filled with frustration.

"The police couldn't like kidnap her," Daisy put the rest of the plot together; her and her sisters' fright and frustration clear in their faces.

"But they can like take her from us and like keep her in custody!" Violet finished voicing the conclusion. It was all a trap, the Azure Alliance had been played into pulling off the move the police couldn't manage.

"Calm down, we need to stay on top of things..." Misty desperately insisted. It felt like a lose-lose situation, if they fought the police they really would be the bad guys. Their so called minor crimes would escalate into a level where they couldn't use influence and a good lawyer to avoid being detained.

"I'm sure by now Team Rocket knows I'm with the Azure Alliance," Delia stated, her sweet voice not matching the level of urgency that the situation demanded. She knew how to take hold of her feelings and keep calm when she had to, a skill that she picked up perhaps out of necessity. "We need to flee, I won't try to run off, I'll help in any way I can." Being rescued from vigilantes would be easier on her and less troublesome for Team Rocket than being rescued from the police. "I can talk to Giovanni, we can arrange something."

The three oldest Waterflowers remained in shocked silence while Misty processed the offer. Yes, sweet kind Delia was a lady of the mafia, even in captivity; she knew how to throw out an irrefutable offer with many implications. "In other words we're in over our necks and the police is the least of our worries. Furthermore, if the authorities get you because of us, Team Rocket's wrath will be merciless and our best bet right now is to follow your lead?"

Delia smiled, again with too much sweetness for the situation, "yes, exactly, I need your help to get safely home and you need my help to avoid a life time in prison. It's good to have you working with me, let's try our best."

Daisy's jaw dropped, "when did she become like the boss?"

Misty groaned, "it's our fault for taking stupid risks and thinking we can get away with it all for the sake of our desperate vengeance. The tables have turned and since we're otherwise sunk anyway, we'll have to listen to her." She looked at Delia, clearly displeased with the fact that they were surrounded, the door to the warehouse would soon be forced off its hinges, catching them all in a pretty bad situation.

Delia nodded, her sweetness turning to determination. "Very well, I will leave the strategizing in battle to you. Let's make an escape route as best we can."

To be Continued

Three chapters and Ash and Misty have not met face to face? Don't worry, he's on his way.

Next chapter: Surrounded by police officers, Delia and the Waterflowers struggle to escape. Meanwhile, a very upset Ash is out searching for his mother...
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